The Auburn University Department of Public Safety & Security and the Auburn Police Division are investigating a threatening message found on campus.
Classes for Wednesday, April 16 have been cancelled and normal operations have been suspended due to "student and parent anxiety" over the message. Classes will resume at 7:45 a.m. Thursday morning.
Auburn police say Drake Middle School was locked down for a short period of time due to a report of a man with a gun on Spencer St. The report was investigated and cleared.
A campus official says a suspicious person was reported on Auburn's campus late Tuesday afternoon. Also, a photo on social media that linked the message to the seven year anniversary Virginia Tech tragedy raised "legitimate" concerns among the community.
According to The Plainsman a senior pre-med student named Caleb Mason found a message posted in the men's restroom in the Haley Center that states: "To whom it may concern, on April 16, 2014 I will release a rampage of biblical proportions on this tiny campus. You have been warned."
Mason tells the student paper that he reported the message to campus police approximately three weeks ago.
"So, I sent them the picture, and they told me to call the police. So I called the police, and they said they would look into it and I never heard back from them. I gave them my phone number and name," Mason said.
Officials reportedly contacted Mason on April 15 asking for more information about the situation.
That night, an alert went out to all students, faculty and staff informing them that authorities were aware of the note.
Auburn Police Chief Paul Register tells News Leader 9, "We are aware of it. So far nothing to deem credible, however, we have and will continue to have extra people on campus."
"Today we'd already made plans to have extra officers in and around campus to make sure, even though we've felt like this wasn't credible, we wanted to take those extra precautions and now with the University closing, hopefully that will at least for today give some peace of mind to the parents and students that everything is fine," said Chief Register.
Despite the alert, we found students on campus who had mixed emotions about this threat, but all agreed the way Auburn handled it was the right move.
"It may have very well been a legitimate threat, buy who is to say that somebody else isn't going to post a threat on the bathroom wall to get out of a class," said student Devon Dalton.
"A lot of people were very much uncomfortable with going to classes so I think this was a good part on Auburn's part, but at the same time I didn't really see the need to cancel class," added student Leonard Jordan.
After causing a major inconvenience to campus operations, Register say the investigation will now focus on who left this threat.
"This is something we will not tolerate. Anybody who would do something like this will be strongly feel repercussions from that and we will find out who left this message and deal with it accordingly," Register said.
The original message appears to have been scrapped away and painted over, says The Plainsman.
To report a suspicious activity or security concern call 911 or the non-emergency number 334-501-3100.
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